Sunday, November 20

Back from Louisiana

Returned yesterday from Covington, LA where I spent five days with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in their efforts to construct new homes and repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

I spent the first few days at a home that had to be completely demolished and rebuilt from the subfloor up. Six trees landed on the house during the hurricane and destroyed so much of it that it could not be salvaged. Then spent the rest of the week working on homes under construction.

I have never seen so many trees down at once as I saw in the St. Tammany Parish. I was absolutely amazed at the numbers of trees and the size of the trees. On the road out to the church camp where we stayed, I would estimate that over 60% of the trees were down in some areas. Many were simply uprooted, the rootballs being at least 6 to 8 feet across. Logging trucks were taking loads of trees out at a never ending pace. Smaller tree debris that was useless for lumber was being hauled in huge open trailers (maybe 40 feet long?) by semi trucks to a facility where they were being ground into mulch and then trucked back. These loads were being hauled continuously all day long every day past the site where I worked.

It's difficult to describe the extent of the damage in the area I stayed in.

Here's a picture taken early in the week when I was working on installing vinyl siding on the home that was being re-constructed. The homeowner planted a shamrock under the home for good luck. Hopefully it will work this time.

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